NFL roster bubble players Steelers must consider signing

Jacob Hollister (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Jacob Hollister (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /
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Malik Jefferson (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

Malik Jefferson

The Steelers appear to have struck gold with Devin Bush, but the players behind him leave a lot more questions than answers. At the back end of the depth chart, Robert Spillane appears to be set to take on the Tyler Matakavich role, but he could be supplemented or even replaced by a more athletic player. Enter Malik Jefferson, a former 3rd round pick who has the size and athleticism to be a top option as a depth player.

Jefferson hasn’t shown much on tape as a defender, but his special teams’ ability has been positive. In his rookie year, he played nearly half of the special teams’ snaps for the Bengals and logged 11 total tackles. While Spillane may be the better special teams’ option, he doesn’t have the athleticism to make it as a defender. Jefferson does, albeit he hasn’t proven anything as a defender. At the minimum, he would be a developmental option who can pull his weight on the special teams’ unit.

Even if the Steelers are comfortable with Spillane in his role, adding a player like Jefferson to the practice squad after cutdowns would make sense. The Steelers would be a good place for him to try and work on transitioning to a defender as opposed to just a special teams’ option. At worst though, you can never have enough special teams’ players, so the Steelers adding a player like Jefferson would make a lot of sense.